Westport in Co Mayo has been named The Irish Times Best Place to Live in Ireland.

The town has beaten off stiff competition from the four other places on the final shortlist - Cork City, Rathmines, Killarney and Ardara - to take the title.

563 entries were submitted by members of the public with places in all 32 countries being nominated.The final five shortlisted captured the nominations across five categories of best city, best village, best suburb, best large town and best small town to live in.

Speaking about the newly crowned Best Place to Live in Ireland, Conor Goodman, Features Editor, The Irish Times and Chair of the judging panel, said, "Westport is a beautiful place, well-kept and pleasant to visit, but those aren't the reasons it won. The judges chose Westport because it is a community of people working together to make the best of the town's many advantages. It has industry, it has a sustainable transport network, and in a town of just a few thousand people there are almost 100 voluntary groups and organisations at work. The residents of Westport love where they live, and with good reason. The judges had a tough job in deciding on a single overall winner, there was plenty of debate and due consideration amongst them before making this important decision."

The entry for Westport was submitted by John O'Callaghan. Writing about his town he said: "Westport has it all. Lovely people, lots to do, excellent employment, fantastic amenities, gorgeous scenery, a thriving arts and cultural scene, great sports and leisure facilities, a palpable community spirit, a choice of good restaurants, fine schools, a caring social services centre, an active retirement group, flourishing overseas partnerships and more."


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